Mid-Atlantic reaches new heights at League Nationals Semi-Finals
USTA Mid-Atlantic teams have been coming in hot this Nationals season for USTA League. Both the Women’s 55 & Over 6.0 team and the Women’s 55 & Over 9.0 team, landed a spot in the top five at the USTA League Nationals Semi-Finals on October 29-31.
The journey to forge ahead from the Sectional level to the National level, and then advancing to semis or even finals is no small feat. Team Captain Laura Stone and Co-Captain Tammy Mavromatis of the Norfolk Women’s 55 & Over 9.0 team conquered this endeavour when they placed fourth at League Nationals during the Third-Fourth Play-Offs against USTA Eastern Westchester/Rockland 9.0 Women’s team.
“Placing fourth in the nation is simply an incredible accomplishment and validates the hard work we put into this season,” said Stone and Mavromatis. “Our team had to overcome disappointment in the past few years of coming so close to advancing from the Sectional level, but we worked hard to persevere with playing at Nationals being our goal.”
Commitment was nothing short of 100% when it came to these ladies on and off the court. The character that is built through USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis shines when it comes down to the tenacity all the women displayed. Working as a team for a common goal brought them together, but what took things to the next level was that they leaned into the confidence of knowing they had each other and that each teammate was striving for success just as much as the next.
“Gratitude is a word we have used quite frequently and we know that we should be grateful each and every time we step on the court,” said Stone and Mavromatis. “Our team is made up of eleven incredible women who love this great game of tennis and love to compete, but above all we realize just how fortunate we are to be competing at this level.”
Playing alongside Stone and Mavromatis: Margaret Mulholland, Becky Oatts, Michelle Clough, Rebecca Jucksch, Charo Aguilar, Karen Johnson, Tracy Johnson, Katie Adams, Margie Ray, and Christopher Witherspoon.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team and we supported each other throughout the season. Most importantly our journey was filled with laughter and fun and because of our trip to Nationals, great friendships evolved and were strengthened by this shared experience,” said Stone and Mavromatis. “We have memories that will last a lifetime!”
Not only did Mid-Atlantic have one team place, a second-team had success at Semi-Finals. Led by Captain Joy Epstein and Co-Captain Jennifer McGowan, the Adult 55 & Over 6.0 team placed third against USTA Southwest Central Arizona 6.0 Women’s team.
“It was an exciting experience and for many on the team a first time even going to a National level tournament,” said Epstein. When it comes to being a USTA League Captain, Epstein believes in fostering a fun competitive environment and pushing an increase in physical activity all the while developing a lifetime skill through tennis.
Epstein’s team practices out of Annapolis High in Annapolis, Maryland. When it came down to the wire, team morale was high and every person was ready to be the best competitor they could be.
“The team was very enthusiastic, cooperative, and really took competition seriously,” said Epstein. “We also enjoyed each other's company and celebrated with a team dinner prior to leaving for Orlando hosted by one of the team players.”
The Adult 55 & Over 6.0 team along with Captain Epstein is made up of: Co-Captain Jennifer McGowan, Martha Van Cleve, Elizabeth Jacobson, Lynne Powell, Virginia Umberger, Perri O'Keefe, Kaye Witting, Rebecca Pugh, Cyndi Hargrove, Loren Barnett, Jade Moore, and Roberta Watts.
There were other Mid-Atlantic teams that also competed in Semi-Finals the same weekend: the Men’s Adult 55 & Over 6.0 team from Anne Arundel Md., led by Tom Walsh and the Men’s Adult 55 & Over 9.0 team from NOVA led by Sam Lieber. In addition, there were three Mixed 18 teams that competed and represented the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section: the Mixed 18 10.0 team from D.C. led by Lauren Smyczek, the Mixed 18 6.0 team from Howard-Columbia Md., led by Johnny Hsiung, and the Mixed 18 8.0 team from Howard-Columbia Md., led by Jessica Lee.
Congratulations to all of the Mid-Atlantic teams that participated and represented the Section at USTA Nationals on October 29-31.
To follow Mid-Atlantic’s journey at Nationals make sure to visit our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for updates. Also, if you’re feeling inspired by these victories and want to get out on the tennis court, you can find a USTA League near you by viewing the local league calendar or by contacting us and we will help you find a team.
USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.